|MaxKare Cardio Climber|
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The MaxKare Cardio Climber is one of the MaxKare products released in 2020. In terms of features and design, it can be compared with the Body Power StepTrac BST800 trainer. It’s a machine between an elliptical trainer and a stepper, made for light to medium-intensity cardio workouts. It’s a trainer made for home use, and so far, it benefits from a fair amount of positive reviews from users.
Key Features and Specifications
- Assembled dimensions: 37.6L x 26.6W x 62.2H inches (96L x 68W x 158H cm)
- Assembled weight: 83.6 lbs (38 kg)
- Flywheel weight: 15.5 lbs (7 kg)
- Weight capacity: 220 lbs (100 kg)
- Stride: 12.2 inches (31 cm)
- Incline: No
- Resistance: Magnetic, 8 levels
- Performance monitor: Time, speed, distance, total distance, calories, pulse, goals, scan
- Extras: Bottle holder, device holder
The MaxKare Cardio Climber features a steel frame combining oval, rectangular, and cylindrical tubes in its construction. The only notable non-metallic parts are the pedal trays and the drive system covers; these are made of durable thermoplastic material. All the steel frame parts are coated with a corrosion-resistant paint finish. The color used is black, this being the only color available for this trainer. The flywheel is chrome-plated, with plastic side covers.
The trainer has a pretty small footprint for an elliptical. It is only 37.6″ (96 cm) long, and 26.6″ (68 cm) wide. This being said, it can fit pretty well even into a small room. It is recommended, though, to leave at least two feet of clearance all around it, for ease of access.
The fully assembled unit is not extremely hard but does have a net weight of 83.6 lbs (38 kg). This being said, the packaged unit should be carried by two persons. But once it is assembled, it can easily be moved by only one person as its front stabilizer features transport wheels. Also, the rear stabilizer is equipped with adjustable levelers.
This MaxKare elliptical trainer is equipped with two sets of handlebars. One attaches to the front mast of the machine. This handlebar is non-adjustable and features a loop grip with metallic pulse sensors integrated into the side grips. The other set of handlebars consists of two long arms, each one attached to the pedal bars, and to the front mast. These are mobile. They cannot be locked to remain stationary and will continue to move for as long as you pedal. Both handlebar sets have their grips covered by foam sleeves for improved comfort.
Elliptical path, stride, and pedal height
As we’ve mentioned above, the MaxKare Cardio Climber is basically a hybrid trainer between an elliptical and a climber. Therefore, the pedaling path is almost completely vertical. Nonetheless, similar to other ellipticals, it provides a low-impact ride, considerably more forgiving on your joints than a walk or jog on a treadmill.
The machine’s pedals are sturdy enough to support users up to 220 lbs (100 kg). Their trays are made of durable thermoplastic material. They have a textured surface for a better footing and front/inner guards. They are non-adjustable and don’t have any articulation elements or cushioning elements.
The machine’s stride is approx. 12.2″ (31 cm). This being said, the applicable user height range is 4’9″ and 6’5″ (145 – 196 cm). However, as a general idea, the trainer is fairly small, so a user over 6’0″ (183 cm) may not benefit from a complete and satisfying range of motion.
One last aspect to mention here regards the machine’s pedal height. At their lowest position, the pedals are at approx. 8.9″ (22.6 cm) above floor level. Conversely, at their highest point, they’re at approx. 19.9″ (50.5 cm). Therefore, it is recommended to place and use the trainer in a room with a ceiling that is at least 22″-23″ (56 – 58 cm) higher than the height of the tallest user.
Drive and resistance
The MaxKare Cardio Climber is equipped with a perimeter-weighted flywheel which is partially visible, not completely covered by the drivetrain guards. It’s not as heavy as the flywheel of the average spin bike but does weigh 15.5 lbs (7 kg). The perimeter-weighting improves inertia and adds consistency to the ride. Also, the flywheel is bi-directional. Thus, it can move in reverse as well, but coasting on the machine is not possible. The pedals continue to move for as long as the flywheel is spinning.
The machine is equipped with a manual magnetic resistance system. This means that you don’t need an adapter for it. But on the other hand, it also means that it does not have pre-set workout programs and the included performance monitor cannot adjust the resistance automatically.
The resistance system consists of a magnetic brake visible under the front section of the flywheel. The brake is connected through a steel cable to the tension knob on the upright fixed bar of the trainer. As you turn the knob clockwise, the magnetic brake moves closer to the flywheel which increases the pedaling difficulty. The main advantage of a magnetic brake over a friction brake is that the brake does not touch the flywheel. Therefore, the usage of the machine is almost completely silent.
There are 8 distinct tension levels on the resistance knob. The lowest one provides a fairly light pedal tension, basically powered only by the weight of the flywheel. The 8th tension level delivers considerably more resistance, great for achieving a higher cardiovascular rate in a shorter period of time, and provides a more intense workout.
Similar to other fitness machines with a magnetic resistance system, the MaxKare Cardio Climber elliptical has a belt drive system. It uses a poly-v belt resistant to stretching. It offers a few advantages over a chain drive. For example, you don’t have to go through the hassle of periodic lubrication. It also generates less vibration than a chain which leads to a smoother pedaling motion.
The MaxKare Cardio Climber is equipped with a performance monitor that offers a few extra functions over the average basic unit. It has an LCD display that tracks time, distance, speed, calories, pulse, and total distance. It is not telemetric, though. This means it can only read your pulse if you hold on to the integrated sensors. It cannot read your pulse from a fitness band or HR chest strap.
The unit has three buttons – Set, Mode, and Reset – as opposed to the basic models which only have the Mode button. The Set button gives you the possibility to select workout targets for time, distance, and calories. If a target is selected, the monitor will countdown from the selected target until the value reaches zero. The Mode button allows you to scroll through the workout metrics and select the one that you want to view on the screen. This way, you can also select the Scan Mode which rotates all the metrics showing each one for a few seconds. And finally, the Reset button clears all the values on the monitor to zero.
As we’ve mentioned above, the included performance monitor does not have and pre-set programs or online connectivity. It is not compatible with any fitness apps. It is battery-powered. It starts up when you begin pedaling and also automatically turns off if it does not detect any movement on the machine for a few minutes.
Assembly and Maintenance
The main body of the trainer comes pre-assembled. You only need to add the two base stabilizers, the front upright bar, the pedals, the moving arms, the fixed handlebars, and the performance monitor. This shouldn’t take more than one hour of your time. All the necessary tools are included. The manual provides fairly clear assembly instructions.
For maintenance, you only need to keep the unit clean. The drivetrain does not require lubrication, but the if the joints of the pedals/arms become noisy, a bit of lubricant may be required. It is also recommended to periodically inspect the machine to make sure that all the parts are functioning correctly.
- Sturdy construction with a low center of gravity for extra stability;
- Compact design – does not take too much space;
- Transport wheels on the front base;
- Adjustable stabilizers on the rear base;
- Durable, non-slip pedals;
- Fixed and mobile handlebars;
- Pulse sensors integrated into the fixed handlebars;
- Perimeter-weighted flywheel for improved inertia;
- Zero-friction magnetic resistance system with 8 difficulty levels available;
- Performance monitor included – it tracks time, distance, total distance, speed, calories, and pulse;
- Goal settings for time, distance, and calories;
- Tablet holder included;
- Bottle holder included;
- Silent operation;
- Fairly easy to assemble;
- All the assembly tools are included;
- Very little maintenance required.
- No backlight on the performance monitor;
- The pulse reading function is not super-accurate.
The MaxKare Cardio Climber is a stepper and elliptical hybrid trainer. It features a manual magnetic resistance system with 8 levels, a 15.5 lbs perimeter-weighted flywheel for a consistent momentum, and a performance monitor that can track all the important workout metrics. In all, it’s a fairly decent fitness machine for light to medium-intensity cardio workouts, recovery training, stamina development, muscle toning, and weight loss.